Undergraduate Research

Senior Thesis

Students are encouraged to work on an independent research project during their senior year. Projects typically involve field work or laboratory analysis of samples. Specific requirements for the thesis are worked out with the faculty thesis advisor, but generally include a written report and an oral presentation, either in the Department or at UGA through CURO, or even at a regional or national geoscience conference. An undergraduate thesis usually will span an entire calendar year, so it is important to contact an advisor sometime in the beginning of your third year or earlier.

To initiate an undergraduate thesis project, the first step is to identify a general topic that interests you. This is typically easiest to do after you have taken some of the core geology courses. The next step is to talk to a professor whose research interests are similar and see if they would be willing to supervise you for a project and if they have any ideas for a specific project. Most professors will have ideas for good research projects for undergraduate theses.

While working on your project, you should sign up for one of the Introduction to Research courses (GEOL 4410 to 4490) or, if you are an Honors student, one of the Honors Directed Reading or Projects courses (GEOL 4960H to GEOL 4980H). When you are ready to complete your thesis, usually during your last semester at UGA, you should sign up for either GEOL 4991 (Senior Thesis) or GEOL 4990H (Honors thesis), if you are an Honors student.